When you make the decision to adopt a child in the state of Texas you’ll quickly discover that the first step is to open your home and your finances to investigation. This process occurs long before you can open your heart to your newly-adopted family member.
In Texas the process is called The Pre-Adoptive Home Screening and its primary purpose is to determine if you and your home provide enough space and adequate safety for an adopted child.
Measuring the home or apartment is not the basic criterion, however. Yes, the number of square feet in your living space is one factor, but the real job of the social worker visiting you in your home is to find out other things that are not easy to measure, such as:
- Your reasons for wanting to adopt a child
- Your thoughts and feelings about your own childhood home
- The status of your family now, including finances and health
- How you feel about children of another race and the issues they face, and the issues you may face in an interracial family
- How your birth children or previously-adopted children feel about another sibling now
- The way you discipline your children and plan to discipline another child
- The history of neglect and abuse in your life and other family members’ lives
Prior to applying for and scheduling your Texas Adoption Home Study you’ll need to participate in a Foster Care and Adoption Information Meeting in your local area. The Texas Adoption Resource Exchange provides areas, dates and times of meetings on its website for your convenience.
The result of your home study is a report that will be used to determine whether or not you qualify to move forward in the process of adopting a child in Texas or from another state or country. So, it’s very important to choose an agency with professionals who are well-equipped to help you prepare for and succeed in getting a good report as a result of your home study investigation.
You can choose from a variety of different providers offering Texas Adoption Home Study screenings. Generally, you will receive a questionnaire by email and after completing and returning it to the provider they will schedule a visit to your home.
Other children over the age of three years, and other children of the adopting parents who do not live full-time in the family home will also be interviewed by appointment.
And of course both adopting parents will be subject to background and reference checks as well as their personal interviews.
The cost of a Texas Adoption Home Study is likely to exceed $1000, and will often involve additional costs in conjunction with the study. Payment is usually expected at the time of the home visit, if not before. Be sure you check with your provider to make sure you know the form of payment they require.
If you and your spouse fill out and return the home study questionnaire thoroughly, and everyone who must be interviewed is available, the time line for obtaining your home study report may be as soon as two weeks following the date of your home study visit.
A Texas family law attorney is a great place to start your Texas adoption process, so contact one today and get your adoption started right.